Health-related quality of life outcomes measures

Elena M. Andresen, Allan R. Meyers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

190 Scopus citations


Objective: To review critically the features of measures of generic health-related quality of life (HRQOL) for disability outcomes research. Data Sources: A search of electronic databases, summary reviews, books, and government documents was performed. Comment and experiences from participants of a conference on outcomes research were also incorporated. Study Selection: English language literature from scientists from a broad range of disciplines and research settings, including medicine, nursing, social science, and public health, and health services research and practice. Data Extraction: A critical review of measures that have been or might be used to measure disability outcomes. Data Synthesis: Commonly used generic measures of HRQOL can be applied to disability outcomes research with some caveats. Three common tools are the Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), Sickness Impact Profile (SIP), and Quality of Well-Being (QWB) scale. The SF-36 and SIP have been used with some success in research with people with disability. The QWB scale has been used less frequently. Conclusion: Most studies using generic HRQOL tools are of groups with specific impairments rather than heterogeneous groups of people with disability. None of the tools appears to measure HRQOL without some potential biases (eg, inappropriate wording) for people with disability, but more specific testing of these problems is needed. Also needed are studies to determine whether these tools can measure meaningful longitudinal changes. (C) 2000 by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S30-S45
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number12 SUPPL. 2
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Disabled persons
  • Outcome assessment (health care)
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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